Worth Watching: All in the Family With ‘This Is Us,’ Premieres of ‘Miracle Workers’ and ‘Boomerang’
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
This Is Us (9/8, NBC): An Emmy-worthy guest performance by Griffin Dunne, as the broken adult version of the Pearsons’ long-thought-dead Uncle Nicky, distinguishes another emotionally powerful episode of the hit drama. Kevin (Justin Hartley) isn’t about to give up on his troubled uncle, and when his mother Rebecca (Mandy Moore) shows up as well to learn more about Nicky’s relationship with her late husband, the stage is set for some long-simmering confrontations. “You’re out of your depths, kid,” Nicky warns Kevin — but this guy has been out of the family loop too long. He has no idea how deep the feels go among these people. Moving flashbacks, courtesy of a road-trip detour for Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Kate (Chrissy Metz), take us back to the aftermath of Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) 1992 visit with his brother (Michael Angarano) — when TV’s Best Dad Ever tried to keep his trauma hidden from his kids. And we can now add “sequin fight” and “Pearson pizza” to the family’s lore.
Miracle Workers (10:30/9:30c, TBS): Oh God! A whimsical new comedy takes us to celestial heights to introduce a deity down in the depths: Steve Buscemi as a burned-out hippie of a God (in sandals and socks) who’s so disgusted with his creation that he decides to blow the whole thing to Kingdom Come — unless two low-level overworked angels (a charming Daniel Radcliffe and Geraldine Viswanathan) can save the planet. Their task: to make two humans down on Earth fall in love within two weeks. Easier than it sounds.
Boomerang (10/9c, BET): This network is in serious nostalgia mode. I get the impulse to tell the backstage story of Soul Train in the entertaining new drama American Soul (9/8c), but am less convinced of the merits of this sequel-of-sorts to the 1992 movie about African-American ad execs. Lacking the star power of Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry, this banal dramedy follows the fortunes of their spoiled offspring, a group of millennial buppies who aren’t as interesting as they think they are.
TV Trailer Roundup 2019: 'Bless This Mess,' 'The Red Line,' 'Billions' & More Coming in Winter/Spring (VIDEO)
Inside Tuesday TV: Rescheduled because of last week’s delayed State of the Union speech, a new episode of CBS hit NCIS (8/7c) includes a callout to beloved ex-team member Ziva, when one of her old missing-persons cases is reopened… Star Trek: The Next Generation’s LeVar Barton guests on CBS’s NCIS: New Orleans (10/9c) as Nero — not the captain, but an official with Naval Intelligence — helped the team track down a stolen deadly virus… Collaborating with The Wall Street Journal, PBS’s Frontline airs the troubling report Predator on the Reservation (10/9c, check local listings at pbs.org), an investigation of the Indian Health Service, which reportedly ignored warnings about a government pediatrician accused of sexually abusing Native American boys on a Montana Blackfeet Reservation… Denise Richards, aka a survivor of Charlie Sheen, joins the cast of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (9/8c) in its ninth-season premiere.